Today I am starting my new theme called “My Friends” where I will be presenting colleagues from the tourism branch and other travelers, artists and authors of interesting thoughts about the Universe, life and everything else. I am very happy that my first guest is a little bit of all that. Her name is Sofia and she is a anture-lover by heart and mind, plus a master of authentic jewelry. She lives in her hometown, Petrich, where peaches ripe first and sweet chestnuts fall from the trees last. She is one of the engines behind the establishment of the youngest nature park in Bulgaria – Belasitsa; one of the founders of the annual Chestnut Festival in October and one of the people supporting the small tourism businesses in the area since the very beginning.
If you are yourselves admirers of the mountains, Sofia can take to the thematic trails in the Nature Park or challenge you to handle any of the riddles, games and puzzles in its Visitor Center at the village of Kolarovo. Regardless of your age – children or adults – I promise you will have fun. You have a good choice between The Butterflies and Flowers of Belasitsa, The Life of the Chestnut, The Secrets of Water and even a Travel through History for which, however, you need reliable shoes and firm muscles as you need to climb almost to the ridge at Demir Kapiya Pass, starting from the villages at the foot of the mountain.
In the last two or so years, Sofia is offering small pieces of nature to all who lack the time or abilities to be there themselves. Flowers, seeds, branches, birch bark and even moss have been captured and sealed in authentic jewelry. You may choose between discrete colours and colourful sunny glint, various shapes and sizes. If you don’t wear jewelry yourself, these are a wonderful gift for any friend who would not want to see her necklace on somebody else. The brand of Balgara may be found on Facebook but also, in ceratin occasions, at fairs dedicated to the neture-friendly way of life or small Bulgrian producers.
I don’t know if you are aware that plants as a whole and flowers in particular speak a special language. That is, they have certain meanings. I myself did not know that but they do. The tulip, for instance, happens to mean ‘perfect love’ while the rose also meant love but combined with admiration for the person we give it to. Who am I to wonder can we love someone perfectly without admiring him or her? Gerbera, it appears, is simultaneously a symbol of flirting and hope, an interesting combination. I couldn’t find a specific meaning for the fern we see in the jewelry above but it is considered the perfect choice for the urban individual since – I quote – it improves tremendously the micro-climate of closed urban spaces.
That is another symbol of love, this time combined with marriage. It is a tender flower called bleeding heart, so the connection to marriage might not be so obvious. Regardless of how you decide to read flowers, I believe beauty speaks an universal language. And despite the snow still falling outside, spring is officially here, so acquiring a drop of natural beauty in authentic jewelry cannot be a mistake. I myself even pierced my ears again, at the age of …, just to be able to hang some joyful flowers on them. I finish my post with some roses which I hope will be able to convey my admiration for Sofia.